Tag Archives: art

Behind the Scenes

17 Feb

Living in Denmark is great, but I’m not going to lie to you – it’s flipping expensive! Being a student means living on a pretty limited budget, so an extravagant social life with matching wardrobe is on standby until my academic endeavours pay off in the form of a highly paid and very glamorous job.

To add to my financial woes, I started 2017 with a succession of unexpected and rather hefty bills. Added to the usual expense of Christmas, it means that for the foreseeable future I have put my bank card on lockdown, and I’m definitely NOT allowed to buy any more shoes…

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 16.39.16.pngHowever, I am a creative person who enjoys a challenge, so I’m viewing my current financial situation as an opportunity to have a bit of a lifestyle clearout and potentially enter a new dimension of minimalist zen. Well, that’s the plan anyway.


So far, it’s been going pretty well. A lot of my hobbies are already free, and of course my studies keep me pretty busy. Nevertheless, from time to time I do need some kind of cultural stimulation and a little sparkle, which only a trip to the city can bring.

Brandts tree.jpgBrandts by night (sorry, wrong lens!)

Luckily for me, there is plenty going on in Odense, and, even better, some things are free of charge. Obviously, there are also a lot of exciting things to do that cost a fortune, but if you venture off the beaten track, it’s actually quite easy to satisfy any cultural cravings you might have.

Kunstbygningen Filosoffen.jpgArt Gallery Filosoffen

Last week, I took some time to visit a free exhibition at the Art Gallery Filosoffen. I suspect that the exhibition’s subject matter may be a little too much ‘making the private public’ for sensitive souls (for Sex and the City fans, think Charlotte in Season 1, Episode 5), but the Danes seem to be quite laid back about these things. There were even quite a few pensioner types in when I was there, and they didn’t appear to be in the least bit fazed, even if they had inadvertently wandered in from the knitting exhibition next door.


The highlight of the week for me, though, was a behind the scenes guided tour of Brandts museum. Brandts is housed in a converted cloth factory building. The Brandts area has always been my favourite place in Odense, and although I am a regular visitor to the museum, I simply couldn’t resist the chance to see what lies behind all those ‘staff only’ doors.

As it turned out, a reporter and a photographer from the local newspaper were also on the tour, and as something of a grand finale to my week I ended up making it into the Saturday edition of Fyens Stiftstidende. I’m taking it as a sign; although the path I’m on right now might not exactly be the one I chose, it is already starting to open some very interesting doors.

FS.jpgNot trying to draw attention to myself or anything…


Bag kulisserne

Danmark er et fantastisk land at bo i, men jeg lyver ikke over for jer – det er møghamrende dyrt! Fordi jeg er studerende, skal jeg forholde mig til et stramt budget, og et ekstravagant socialt liv med den tilhørende garderobe er på pause, indtil mine akademiske bestræbelser betaler sig i form af et højtlønnet og glamourøst job.

Tilsat mine finansielle vanskeligheder startede jeg i 2017 med en række uventede og heftige regninger. Oven på de sædvanlige udgifter fra jul betyder det, at jeg i den nærmeste fremtid har sat mit dankort på lockdown. Og jeg må absolut IKKE købe flere sko…

Imidlertid er jeg et kreativt menneske, som nyder en udfordring, så jeg ser på min nuværende finansielle situation som muligheden for at rydde lidt op i min livsstil og skabe en ny dimension af minimalistisk zen. Det er altså planen.

Odense Å.jpg

Indtil videre går det ganske godt. De fleste af mine hobbyer er i forvejen gratis, og selvfølgelig holder mine studier mig travlt beskæftiget. Alligevel får jeg fra tid til anden brug for en eller anden form for kulturel stimulering og lidt glimmer, hvilket kun en rejse til byen kan bevirke.

Heldigvis for mig sker der meget i Odense, og – endnu bedre – er der nogle ting, der er gratis. Der er ganske vist mange spændende ting at lave, der koster en formue, men hvis man går lidt væk fra alfarvej, er det faktisk ret nemt at få tilfredsstillet sin kulturelle trang.


Sidste uge tilbragte jeg lidt tid på en gratis udstilling i Kunstbygningen Filosoffen. Jeg tror, at udstillingens emne måske er lidt for vovet for sarte sjæle (for jer, der ser Sex and the City, tænk på Charlotte i Sæson 1, Afsnit 5), men danskerne ser ud til at være ret afslappede ved disse ting. Der var endda nogle pensionist-agtige mennesker til udstillingen, mens jeg var der, og de så ikke ud til at være fornærmede – selv hvis de ved et uheld havde kom ind fra strikke-udstillingen ved siden af.

Ugens højdepunkt var dog for mig en rundvisning bag kulisserne på Brandts museet. Brandts har til huse i en ombygget klædefabrik. Museet og området deromkring har altid været mit absolutte yndlingssted i Odense, og selv om jeg kommer på faste besøg på Brandts, kunne jeg ikke stå for muligheden for at se, hvad der ligger bag ved alle de ‘kun personale’-døre.

Det viste sig, at der også var en journalist og en fotograf fra den lokale avis med på rundvisningen, og lige som en slags grand finale på min uge endte jeg med at komme i lørdagens udgave af Fyens Stiftstidende. Jeg tager det som et tegn på, at selv om vejen, jeg er på lige nu, måske ikke er lige den, jeg havde valgt, begynder der allerede nu at åbne sig nogle meget interessante døre.



Sunshine and Shooting Stars

28 Jan

SnowdropJanuary is a dreary month, with the sparkle of Christmas a distant memory and only the continuing dreariness of February to look forward to. Forgive me, but I’m suffering from seasonal lack-of-adjustment disorder: I want it to be spring! As early as the 8th of January there was some evidence of the much wished for change in season, snowdrops and erantis were well under way in our garden and the blackbirds were having some territorial disputes – a sure sign of spring, but so far it hasn’t come to much.

HouseLysthusThe month started brightly enough, with a backdrop of  blue skies and sunshine for a girls’ day out to the beautiful harbour town of Kerteminde, situated on the north east coast of Fyn, and home to the Johannes Larsen Museum.

Main hall use this one I’m beginning to get quite a taste for Danish art galleries, and the Johannes Larsen Museum is no exception. I wasn’t sure what to expect, perhaps a slightly faded, small-town collection of mildewy paintings and a  few token knick-knacks scattered around. Not so! Instead it was like some kind of religious epiphany as I entered a gleaming white, fresh, modern building with the morning light streaming in through the huge windows.

Gallery  I must confess that Larsen’s style is not really to my taste, but seeing his work displayed in surroundings such as these, I could begin to appreciate what the man was about, and his very special use of light.

Holy pictureDeer FreizeThe highlight of the Museum for me, though, was to be able to visit Larsen’s house, where he lived and particularly where he worked. I was greatly inspired by his studio: The notion of having such a space for creativity in one’s own house, in such peaceful surroundings, is deeply appealing.

StudioStudyGreenhouse2After taking care of our appetite for culture, our attention tuned to appetites of a more practical nature and settled on Tornøes Hotel for lunch. Since Kerteminde has a strong fishing tradition I felt it appropriate to order stjerneskud (shooting star), a dish which consists of a piece of white bread covered with boiled white fish, fried breaded white fish, salmon, prawns and caviar, with a bit of salad on the side. I’ve only ever had the supermarket version of stjerneskud before, which although tasty would at best come under the category of ‘light lunch’, so the mountainous heap of fish which was set down before me came as quite a surprise!

Stjerneskud1Food is actually a central theme in our household these days. My husband and I have set ourselves the challenge of eating a different meal every night, with strictly no repetition permitted! It has proved to be a very enjoyable way of  passing the dark evenings, and has given rise to the discovery of new recipes such as beetroot risotto. It may look garish, but it tastes fantastic!Beetroot risottoThe urge to stay indoors and eat nice food and watch old films has become almost primal. Being deprived of snow in our part of Denmark*, the whole landscape has a woeful air and the lack of sun is doing little to help combat the lethargy which is seeping into my bones. Being as I don’t wish to slide into a full-blown depression, I’m trying to come up with ways to be outside and active. When it’s been raining for days, sometimes you just have to say: if you can’t beat it, join it.

Johan jumpingOther than that I’m being sure to make the most of  the rare occasions when the sun does make an appearance, and hopefully it will soon be spring for real.Garden in sun


* This was written before this happened:Garden in snow



Solskin og stjerneskud

ErantisJanuar er en kedelig måned, når julens glimmer er et fjernt minde, og man kun har den fortsat kedelige måned februar at glæde sig til. Undskyld, men jeg lider en smule af vinterdepression, og jeg vil have, at det er forår! Så tidligt som d. 8. januar var der bevis på det meget ønskede sæsonskift: Vintergækkerne var i blomst i vores have, og solsorterne var oppe at slås – et klart tegn på forår, men indtil videre er det ikke blevet til noget.

HouseMåneden begyndte klart nok og var en pragtfuld kulisse for en tøsetur til den flotte fiskerby, som hedder Kerteminde og er hjem for Johannes Larsen Museet.

Piano hall2Jeg får en smag for danske kunstmuseer og uden undtagelse Johannes Larsen Museet. I forvejen vidste jeg ikke, hvad jeg skulle forvente: måske en trist samling af  mugne malerier, som var lidt falmede, og et par symbolske nipsting hist og pist. Tværtimod! Det var som en slags religiøs åbenbaring, idet jeg gik ind i en strålende hvid, frisk, moderne bygning med morgenlyset stømmende ind gennem de enorme vinduer.

Red RoomJeg må indrømme, at Larsens stil ikke er lige til min smag, men det at se hans kunst, udstillet i omgivelser som disse gav mig en forståelse af, hvad mandens ide var, og hans meget specielle brug af lys.

FireplaceStueFireplace freizeImidlertid var det besøget i Larsens hus, der var museets højdepunkt for mig, og at få muligheden for at se, hvor han boede, og især hvor han arbejdede. Jeg blev meget inspireret af hans atelier: Idéen om det at have sådan et sted, hvor man kan være kreativ i ens eget hus omgivet af fred og ro, er særlig tiltrækkende.StudioGreenhouse1Efter at vi havde opfyldt vores appetit på kultur, drejede vores opmærksomhed til appetitten af et mere praktisk begreb, og vi blev enige om, at vi skulle spise frokost på Tornøes Hotel. Fordi Kerteminde har en stærk fiskeritradition, syntes jeg, at det var passende, at jeg bestilte stjerneskud. Hidtil havde jeg kun fået supermarkedernes udgave af stjerneskud, der, selv om det var velsmagende, kunne beskrives som ‘let frokost’. Så det var en stor overraskelse, da en kæmpe dynge af fisk blev placeret foran mig.

Stjerneskud1Maden er egentlig et centralt tema hos min mand og mig for tiden. Vi har udfordret os selv til at spise et forskelligt måltid hver aften uden gentagelse. Det har vist sig at være en meget behagelig måde at tilbringe de mørke aftner på og har givet anledning til at opleve nye opskrifter fx rødbede risotto. Det ser nok skrigende ud, men det smager vidunderligt!

Beetroot risottoTrangen til at blive inde og spise lækker mad og se gamle film er blevet næsten primal. Vores del af Danmark mangler sne, og det hele ser trist ud*. Uden nok solskin er det svært at undgå en nedtur, men jeg prøver at finde på årsager til at være udenfor og aktiv. Når det har været regnvejr i dagevis, skal man nogle gange bare sige: if you can’t beat it, join it.

Johan jumpingBortset fra det vil jeg være sikker på at nyde de sjældne lejligheder, når solen skinner, og forhåbentlig bliver foråret snart til virkelighed.

Garden in sun


*Dette var skrevet før dette skete:

Garden in snow

The Art of Appreciation

11 Jul

RoseThroughout the day I’ve become accustomed to the smell of sun-warmed skin and suncream, and now and then an occasional puff of overripe strawberries and rose. But it’s at night time when the most tantalizing scent of them all is to be found: honeysuckle. After the burning heat of daytime there’s a still and dewy dusk when the honeysuckle blossoms release tendrils of ethereal perfume. It’s a narcotic for the soul, made all the more addictive due to it’s transience, and no matter how much I get I always want more.

Honeysuckle 2Summer in Denmark offers stimulation for all the senses, both natural and man-made. It’s always with a degree of reluctance I leave my little paradise of home and garden, but having read about an exhibition by Tara Donovan at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, a jewel-in-the-crown of Danish galleries, my appetite for art was whetted and I just had to see it for myself. So, in the good company of my culturally like-minded friend, Simply Stylish Mom, I left the island of Funen and headed for the distant mirage of Louisiana, just north of Copenhagen.

Sculpture reflectionThe gallery building itself is rather beautiful and set in several acres of surrounding grounds, right on the coast of Denmark, overlooking the water to Sweden. Being wise ladies, we had had decided to allow ourselves the whole day to spend at Louisiana before catching the train home, so we had plenty of time to enjoy all Louisiana had to offer, inside and out. While I am no expert in art, I need it in my life and am particularly drawn to works from around 1900 up to the present day. I’m also a big fan of Danish design and when these two elements come together in such perfect alignment as they do at Louisiana, I’m completely in my element.

CorridorTara Donovan’s work was sensuous and fascinating, and even more fantastic than I had imagined it to be. Of course, photography is forbidden in the gallery, but you can see photos of the exhibition and other works by Donovan if you search on the internet. Suffice it to say, the pictures don’t do the works justice, and I would strongly recommend seeing them in real life if you get the chance.

Sculpture with boatsSSM and I are practical as well as cultural ladies, and we had brought a picnic of delicious fare to enoy in the tranquil and inspiring surroundings of the scultpure park housed within Louisiana’s grounds, and we whiled away the day appreciating, eating, drinking and being happy.

PondIt was a fantastic day and SSM and I have already planned our next cultural escape, but more on that another time. Until then I shall be content with pottering about in my olfactory oasis of rose, strawberries and honeysuckle blossom.

Kunsten at holde af

StrawberriesI løbet af dagen er jeg blevet vant til duften af sol-opvarmet hud og solcreme og fra tid til anden et sjældent pust af overmodne jordbær og roser. Men ved nattetide findes den allermest fristende duft: kaprifolien. Efter dagens brændende varme er der en stille og dugvåd skumring, når kaprifolieblomsterne slipper slyngtråde af æterisk parfume løs. For sjælen er den narkotikum, som er endnu mere afhængighedsskabende pga. dens forbigående virkning. Uanset hvor meget jeg får, ønsker jeg altid mere.

HoneysuckleSommeren i Danmark tilbyder stimulanser både naturlige og menneskeskabte til alle sanserne. Det er altid med lidt modvillighed, at jeg forlader mit lille paradis af hus og have. Imidlertid – efter jeg læste om en kunstudstilling lavet af Tara DonovanLouisiana Museum of Modern Art – blev min appetit på kunst vakt, og jeg blev nødt til at se den selv. Så i selskab med min ligesindede veninde, Simply Stylish Mom, forlod jeg øen Fyn mod den fjerne luftspejling, der er Louisiana.

Back entranceGalleribygningen selv er ganske flot og dækker flere kvadratkilometer jord, lige ved kysten af Danmark over for Sverige. Fordi vi er kloge damer, havde vi besluttet os for at tilbringe hele dagen på Louisiana, før vi skulle tage toget hjem. Af den grund havde vi masser af tid til at nyde alt, hvad Louisiana tilbød, både inde og ude. Selv om jeg ikke er ekspert i kunst, sætter jeg stor pris på den og er særlig tiltrukket af kunstværker fra omkring 1900 til og med i dag. Jeg er også en stor beundrer af Danish-design, og når de to elementer kommer sammen så perfekt placeret, som de er på Louisiana, er jeg fuldstændig i mit es.

Sculpture park viewKunstværkerne af Tara Donovan var sanselige og fascinerende, og de var endnu mere vidunderlige, end jeg havde forestillet mig. Selvfølgelig er fotografering forbudt i galleriet, men man kan se billeder af udstillingen og andre kunstværker af Donovan, hvis man søger på nettet. Lad det være nok at sige, at billederne ikke yder kunstværkerne fuld retfærdighed, og jeg vil varmt anbefale, at man ser dem i virkeligheden, hvis man får chancen.

Wish treeSSM og jeg er praktiske såvel som kulturelle damer, og vi havde medbragt mad, som vi kunne nyde i de fredelige og inspirerende omgivelser i skulpturparken, der står på Louisianas jord. Tiden gik, mens vi kiggede og beundrede, spiste, drak og var glade.

LouisianaDet var en fantastisk dag, og SSM og jeg har allerede planlagt vores næste kulturelle udflugt, men der kommer mere om det en anden gang. Indtil videre vil jeg være tilfreds med at nusse rundt i min lugt-oase blandt roserne, jorbærrene og kaprifolieblomsterne.

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